Visitor restrictions in place at Salem hospitals during flu season

SALEM, Ore. - Strict restrictions for Salem Hospital visitors are now in effect to protect patients from the flu.

Salem Hospital and West Valley Hospital are implementing the following restrictions:

  • Only people needed to give support to and care for patients should visit hospitals.
  • Persons who are sick, or who have been in contact with someone who is sick, should not visit.

This applies to visitors who are not currently sick as well. It is possible to spread the virus one to seven days before you even know you're sick.

The restrictions will remain in place for an unknown period of time.

Providence Health and Services is also taking similar precautions.

Providence said patients in the maternity areas and intensive care units cannot have visitors under age 18. This includes immediate family members of patients at the hospital. Hospital officials said the age restrictions are in place because children have a much higher rate of exposure to the flu.

All other areas of the hospital are under visitor restrictions as well. Children visiting the hospital who are under 18 years old must be immediate family members of the person they are visiting. Anyone with a cough or sore throat is required to wear a mask.

Hospital officials said the restrictions are only temporary and will be lifted once the flu season is over.